Snacks / Appetizers

“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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When I was a kid and later as an apprentice and a young cook, this dish was available in most good restaurants as a standard a la carte Item, either as a light snack consisting of one vol au vent, or two vol au vents accompanied by a small salad as a main course, most popular with ladies and children. It often also was part of a menu of several dishes, as well as part of after-dinner small dish menus, which were served between the end of regular food serving time and closing time. Aahhh, the good old times. 🙂

Classic ragout fin consists of veal, sweetbread, calf brain, tongue and bone marrow, chicken breast, mushrooms and/or fish, bound with Sauce Allemande (Sauce Suprême).
Nowadays, unless we are in a VERY hi-class french cuisine restaurant, ragout fine usually means a fine ragout of diced veal or chicken and diced mushrooms, bound with Sauce Velouté, sometimes topped with a dollop of Sauce Hollandaise.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Following, find an excerpt from 196 Recipes :

There is often some confusion between a bouchée à la reine and a vol-au-vent. The first one is attributed to a French queen, while the last one is the work of one of the greatest French chefs of the time. Indeed, it is to Marie Leczinska (1703-1768), Queen of France and wife of Louis XV, that we owe the delicious recipe for bouchée à la reine. Marie Leczinska was the daughter of King Stanislaus of Poland, who was dethroned and exiled to Lorraine, in the east of France.

BRIEF HISTORY OF MARIE LECZINSKA
When Louis XV, who was only fifteen years of age, fell ill again in 1725, the Duke of Bourbon feared for his future that the Duke of Orleans, his rival, would ascend the throne. To avoid this, it was necessary that Louis XV assured a descent as soon as possible. After drawing up a list of one hundred European princesses to marry, Marie Leszczynska, seven years older than him, was chosen, as she was old enough to have children.
This very discreet and very pious woman was a devoted mother and wife. Her marriage to Louis XV in 1725 was nevertheless welcomed as a disappointment by the people as the union was not deemed prestigious enough for a king of France. Nevertheless, helped by her sweetness and her beneficent character, she finally won the hearts of the people. The marriage will be happy, at least during the first years. The young king of France was sincerely in love with his wife, and Marie gave him no less than ten children in ten years. However, her successive maternities tired her and made her age early. Louis XV began to leave her for his mistresses, the best known of which were Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF BOUCHÉE À LA REINE?
Inspired by pastries made from sweet puff pastry like the puits d’amour (wells of love) created by chef Vincent La Chapelle, at the request of her rival Madame de Pompadour, Marie then ordered the kitchens of the Court, and in particular Nicolas Stohrer, creator of the baba au rhum (rum baba), a dish that would attempt to awaken the ardor of her unfaithful husband. Thus she had the idea of ​​bouchée à la reine. The goal was to use ingredients with supposedly aphrodisiac properties. The original recipe mentioned puff pastries garnished with a salpicon (a mixture of vegetables, fish or meat). The original garnish of these bouchées à la reine mentions sweetbreads, lamb’s brains, cock’s crests and kidneys, marrow, quenelles of poultry, lamb testicles, truffles and mushrooms, green olives, all bound by a sauce financière. This recipe did not really have the effect expected by the queen, since King Louis XV accumulated infidelities until the end of his life. On the other hand, the bouchée à la reine became a huge success. Indeed, Stanislas, father of the queen and Duke of Lorraine, contributed to its popularity in the buffets of the nobility of Lorraine. The bouchée à la reine is today a must in the French gastronomy, just like the quiche lorraine. Nowadays, the bouchée à la reine comes in many forms, the most classic recipes being based on chicken, quenelle, sweetbreads or seafood. The sauce, often garnished with chopped button mushrooms (champignons de Paris), must be thick enough so that the puff pastry remains crisp. The queen and wife of Louis XV is also at the origin of other famous dishes like the consommé à la reine, the fillet of sirloin braised à la royale and was at the origin of the appearance of the lenses in the French cuisine.

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF VOL-AU-VENT?
Vol-au-vent (French for “windblown” to describe its lightness), meanwhile, is attributed to Antonin Carême, cook and author of culinary books. He replaced the crust of the bouchée à la reine which was a dough similar to a shortcrust pastry, by a lighter puff pastry. Carême popularized the use of a lighter and crisp puff pastry to make pies, whether savory or sweet. Vol-au-vent therefore refers to the puff pastry container. The vol-au-vent fillings are varied, usually based on meat, sweetbreads, fish, shellfish, snails, or mushrooms. The mixture is bound with a thick sauce like a bisque, bechamel sauce, with cream, with Nantuasauce suprême or sauce financière. Originally, the size of the vol-au-vent is about 6 to 8 inches. It is only from the middle of the 20th century that the size of the vol-au-vent merges with that of bouchée à la reine, which is closer to 4 inches in diameter. The hors d’oeuvre called mini bouchée or bouchée mignonne, meanwhile, is usually 2 inches in diameter.

THE BOUCHÉE À LA REINE, POPULARIZED BY ESCOFFIER
In 1902, chef Auguste Escoffier listed sixteen recipes of appetizers of different appellations, shapes and garnishes, including the bouchée à la reine. Among its different recipes, you can find :

– Bouchée Bouquetière, made from a vegetable brunoise
– Bouchée Diane, game-based
– Bouchée Grand Duc, made with asparagus tips and truffles
– Bouchée Montglas, made with foie gras and mushrooms
– Bouchée Nantua, made from crayfish tails and Nantua sauce
– Bouchée Victoria, made with lobster meat and lobster sauce

The lid of the bouchées can be puff pastry, truffle or borrowed from the main element of the filling.

HOW TO SERVE A BOUCHÉE À LA REINE
The bouchée à la reine is usually served as a starter, presented by itself on a plate or accompanied by a green salad. When served as a main dish, it can be served with rice, mashed potatoes or pasta, as in Lorraine, where it is often accompanied by noodles or spätzle. Some add a good ladle of the filling on the side. Most people buy pre-made vol-au-vent, and I would do the same if I lived in France. Only, outside of France, these small puff pastry containers are difficult to find. Never mind, if you manage to find puff pastry or even better, if you have the courage to make homemade puff pastry, you can very easily make them yourself and fill them to make bouchée à la reine, whether classic or not. Just use your imagination! “

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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“BOUCHÉE À LA REINE RAGOUT FIN” (VOL-AU-VENT) (KÖNIGIN PASTETE)

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Preparation :
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Click here for Sauce Velouté Recipe
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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)


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Pig’s feet  are not everybody’s cup of tea, but for those of us who love them, they are a special treat.
I prepare them quite often, in stews, steamed, braised, Asian style, Latin style, German style; any which way is fine with me 🙂
The following dish is Caribbean Style Souse, as I enjoyed it many moon’s ago a couple of times in Trinidad, at the home of my friend Lyron’s mother.
Very spicy and lightly acidic, with lots of vegetables, it was the perfect food on a hot day by the beach, spend in wonderful company and washed down with a few bottles of Carib Beer – nothing else was needed in those moments to feel happy and content 🙂
These meals (and times) are now in the distant past; all that’s left are the happy memories, vividly recalled by preparing the meals we enjoyed together then – Lyron and his wife Dorsey, my wife Maria, myself and Lyron’s mother, whose name eludes me after all these years but whom I always remember when preparing this particular souse………….
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !

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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)

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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)

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“Pigs Trotters” (Part 1 – Caribbean Souse)

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Caribbean Souse

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Preparation :
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Stir-Fried Chili Black Tigers With Cucumber Salsa On Iceberg Hearts In Lime Vinaigrette, Tzatziki

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Stir-Fried Chili Black Tigers With Cucumber Salsa On Iceberg Hearts In Lime Vinaigrette, Tzatziki

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Now that I am back in Germany, seafood is much harder to come by for me than back in Miami, and the variety does not even come close. At least, some of the folks who complained in the past about too much seafood on  ChefsOpinion  can now be more entertained with a wider variety of meat dishes, since the variety of dishes prepared with meat is so much larger here than there 🙂
However, just like I lusted over the past few Decades for familiar meat dishes from my original home, I now miss the seafood that was so readily available to me on my travels through the Caribbean, South East Asia, South America, the Orient, Alaska, Florida and so many other places along or close to the coasts´ of the World, especially at my other home Florida, where one can always count on ones friendly ?? neighborhood Asian market with their endless fresh/ live seafood selections.
So now, every so often, I will still splurge on a big portion of good-quality seafood for Bella and me, to make sure we don´t lose our touch with that part of happy eating.  🙂
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Click here for  Tzatziki Recipe
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Stir-Fried Chili Black Tigers With Cucumber Salsa On Iceberg Hearts In Lime Vinaigrette, Tzatziki

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Stir-Fried Chili Black Tigers With Cucumber Salsa On Iceberg Hearts In Lime Vinaigrette, Tzatziki

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Stir-Fried Chili Black Tigers With Cucumber Salsa On Iceberg Hearts In Lime Vinaigrette, Tzatziki

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Stir-Fried Chili Black Tigers With Cucumber Salsa On Iceberg Hearts In Lime Vinaigrette, Tzatziki

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Tzatziki

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Bellas Portion
Initial portion I should say, of course she got more of my tigers  (and lettuce with tzatziki, which she loves)   🙂
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Preparation :
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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tsatsiki, Cilantro, And Arugula On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tzatziki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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Since I have moved from the US back to Germany a few months ago, I have re-discovered many food-items from my youth in Germany, which I had not seen for many decades. One of them is this Greek bread (Prosimi), which, way back then, our neighbor in Gechingen offered to us kids often. My Dad preferred “Black Forest Black Bread” (Which therefore automatically made that the bread of choice for the whole family), but we kids loved the white, mild and fluffy Greek bread, which was much more suited to a child´s palette. 🙂
Now, there is this great Greek vendor with a food truck outside my favorite supermarket, so whenever I go shopping there, I make sure I get a bunch of Goodies from his supplies. Besides the bread, he as a huge selection of cheese spreads and pickled veggies, which I also adore. Unfortunately, most of his offerings are the traditional Greek meze, namely feta cheese and various types of olives, both of which cause me to experience culinary horror 🙂 (I can´t stand neither, never have, never will) 😦
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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tzatziki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tzatziki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tsatsiki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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“The Ultimate Mushroom Sandwich” – Sauteed Rock Oyster Mushrooms With Grape-Tomatoes & Peppers, Goat Cheese Spread With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, And Fried Onions, Tsatsiki, Cilantro, And Lettuce On Greek Bread

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Preparation :
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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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stylish………. 🙂

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If you ever had a Japanese breakfast, you probably have enjoyed a slice of salted salmon.
With it´s great texture and wonderful, mild flavor, it provides the perfect protein for a healthy breakfast. And, as you can see from the pictures on this page, it is the perfect protein for a light, tasty and healthy Japanese fried rice.
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P.S.
Lately, I have fallen in love with all kinds of different Asian bowls for rice, soup and noodles. But, at 40.00 to 100.00 bucks a pop, I have to slow down a bit with my Amazon late-night ordering.  🙂  Nevertheless, the collection keeps growing……… 🙂
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Click here for   Info & Recipe   for  Salted Japanese Salmon
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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Salmon Fried Rice – 鮭チャーハン

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Preparation :
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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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Now that summer is almost over in Germany, I took the opportunity to buy some of the last garden-grown tomatoes and bell peppers from my neighbor down the road. (In a normal year, September provides the last locally grown tomatoes, while the season for bell peppers ends during October/November. As much as possible, I like to buy food that has been produced locally. My neighbor produces eggs, chicken, and lamb, as well as potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum, apples, blackberries, mirabelles, and strawberries.
Even the local supermarkets sell a lot of locally grown food-stuff, which makes one feel good about giving a little help to the local farmers. 🙂
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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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End Of Summer Celebration – “Creamy Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup”

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4 lbs tomatoes, 1.5 lbs red peppers

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add 2 ea medium size onions, cut int chunks

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add kosher salt, sriracha, sugar and garlic paste to taste

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add 1 gallon chicken- or veggie – broth,, simmer until liquid has reduced to 2 quarts

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with a stand-mixer or hand-mixer blend all until very smooth, last minute ad 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

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add 2 cup heavy cream, check/adjust flavor

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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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BUT FIRST, THIS :
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One of the reasons I moved from Florida back to Germany (besides the Hurricanes) was the fact that I loathe Floridas heat and humidity ( Lets not even mention the traffic).
On the other hand, here in Germany, while we are at the hight of summer, the average temperature is very agreeable, with only the occasional very hot day, and always very little humidity.
But, nevertheless, Florida, Germany, or wherever – who could say no to this beautiful salad, any time of the year, anywhere, and in any weather ?  🙂
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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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Veggie Salad With Chanterelles & Poached Eggs

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Preparation :
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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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How can you improve a perfect tomato? By pickling it !
Any salad, sandwich or any other dish that contains tomatoes will get an additional level of debt of flavor and texture, so, in my humble opinion, the extra few minutes of preparation will be well worth the time and effort. The recipe for the pickling liquid on this page is only a guideline, you can experiment with the length of marination, as well as the flavor of the marination, for example, omit the dashi, add garlic, increase or decrease the vinegar and sugar, etc, etc.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Pickled Tomatoes (トマトの酢漬け )

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Preparation :
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Click here to connect to WORDSFROMANNELI

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Annelis Boat ( Curtesy of WORDSFROMANNELI )

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Annelis boat ( Curtesy of WORDSFROMANNELI )

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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While this soup might seem a bit in the style of Thai food, it actually isn´t, but rather, it is a combination of things I love to be in my food – juicy simmered or roasted chicken, coconut/chicken broth, ginger, garlic, Ichimi togarashi, furikake, cilantro, Thai sweet chili sauce, and udon noodles, items you can usually find at all times in my fridge and in my cup board.
Not Thai at all, but rather a fusion of food/ingredients from different countries/cultures, combined to form their own, delicious bond, without being too complicated to prepare with ease in a short time, or being too heavy on the wallet. 🙂
In fact, if you already have leftover cooked (or roasted) chicken in your fridge, the whole process of assembling and finishing this dish will not take more than a few minutes 🙂
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Pls note :
Adjust the quantities and use of all the ingredients according to your own moods, taste buds and their availability.  🙂

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Chicken And Udon In Coconut/Chili Soup

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Preparation :
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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape-Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Ever since I moved back to Germany and I found out that the VEAL which I remember from my youth and my apprenticeship is still widely available in Germany, as well as in most other European countries, I buy veal at least once a week ( I love any part/cut of the veal ).
The laws and regulations, and most importantly the government controls  concerning veal, are quite different in Europe and the US, and too complicated and confusing, so I suggest to anybody who has any interest in the matter should study it on official government websites of the different States in the US, as well as on the official government websites of the different countries in Europe.
However, the simple reason why I seldom bought  “VEAL” in Florida was because it was priced in the stratosphere and usually not real “VEAL” as we know it in Germany. There are even well-established categories (types) of veal, but again, that´s too complicated for most folks who never eat veal anyway.  😦
I don´t intend to sound negative about this, just an observation and the reason why you hardly ever saw a post about veal liver on ChefsOpinion while my home was in Florida.
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But, luckily, that was then, and this is now – affordable, high-quality Veal everywhere ! 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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PS.
The quantities on this page serve one generous portion (as shown)
Two regular portions
Four appetizers (cut ea slice one more time so you have 4 ea small portions)
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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Veal Liver with Thai Chili-Vinegar Sauce, Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions, and Grape- Tomatoes & Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Scallions and Grape-Tomatoes

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Potato-Cucumber Salad

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Preparation :
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